Norway won’t relax Covid-19 restrictions for national day celebrations

Covid-19 restrictions will be in place on Norway’s national day on May 17th for the second year running, the government has made clear.

The announcement was made by Minister for Culture Abid Raja at a government press conference.
“I stand here again to say that the pandemic will mark the celebration of our national day this year as well,” Raja said.
“Remember that not gathering is to show care for those you love, for the environment and society,” he added.
National measures will apply unless there are stricter local measures in place.
“Places with high infection rates may have local advice and stricter rules than national rules. In these areas, the stricter set of rules will apply,” Raja said.
May 17th, or constitution day, commemorates the signing of Norway’s constitution in 1814. Many people like to meet friends and family, celebrate and have parties.
Normally marching bands and parades are also a big part of the day and everyone dresses in their national costume, or bunad. 
Last year all parades and public gatherings were cancelled with events streamed digitally instead.
Assistant health director at the Norwegian Directorate of Health, Espen Nakstad, said some celebrations can still go ahead.
“Those planning 17th May celebrations can use the infection control advice as a starting point for planning,” he told newspaper VG.
The following guidelines have been issued ahead of May 17th.
  • Where events are allowed, gatherings should be avoided across municipal boundaries, and that all planned events should take place locally
  • May 17th parades are covered by Covid-19 restrictions regarding events. If events are advised against or prohibited, then they shouldn’t take place
  • If there is a risk that children’s parades, which are a big part of May 17th celebrations, will lead to a gathering of people, they should be cancelled.
  • In areas where events are prohibited, marching bands will still be able to play for residents in announced pop-up performances
  • Marching band practice ahead of May 17th must follow national and local advice.

Current national rules for gatherings and socialising apply. They are:

  • You can have five guests in private homes and cabins, provided you can keep a one-meter distance.
  • Outside private homes, so in places such as restaurants and rented accommodation, ten people can meet indoors and 20 outdoors.
  • At indoor public events, a maximum of ten people can meet without a fixed allocated seating plan in place.
  • 100 people can be hosted at indoor events with a fixed designated seating plan
  • At public events, 200 people can gather outdoors, or up to 600 if split into three separate groups, with a fixed seating plan.

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